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Archived News Release from 2011

For Immediate Release

City to Consider Moderate Increase in Solid Waste (Garbage/Recycling) Collection Rates - Community Information Meeting Scheduled for December 15

Redwood City, CA - December 8, 2011 - Early next year, the City Council of Redwood City will be considering a 7.81% increase in the residential and commercial rates for garbage and recycling collection within Redwood City. For the great majority of Redwood City households (most of which have a 32-gallon cart), this would be an additional $1.93 per month/per cart (for those with 20-gallon carts the proposed increase is 81¢ per month/per cart). Corresponding increases would be effective for larger carts and for commercial service.

To help ensure residents and businesses have a full understanding of the services provided and the need for an increase in these rates, the City will hold a community information meeting on Thursday, December 15, 2011, starting at 7 pm, in the Community Room of the Downtown Library, 1044 Middlefield Road. The community is invited to join staff from Redwood City, Recology (the collection company), and the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA) for this update on garbage and recycling services (including a proposed new Household Hazardous Waste collection service), and the latest information on the proposed 2012 rate increase. SBWMA is the joint powers authority representing the various cities and agencies that contract with Recology. The required public hearing on the proposed increase is scheduled for January 9, 2012, at 7 pm at City Hall.

The rate increase is due to higher costs and lower revenues than originally anticipated, during Recology’s first year of service and projected for service to be provided in 2012. Additionally, a new service is being considered – Household Hazardous Waste curbside collection – which contributes a small percentage to the proposed increase. The rates charged to customers must reflect Recology’s actual cost of providing service, and take into account the contractually-agreed upon revenues – in other words, Recology is guaranteed a specified amount of revenue, which was negotiated as part of the franchise agreement. This type of arrangement is typical in the garbage/recycling collection industry.

Other cities are also considering rate increases. Due to Redwood City’s ongoing deliberate, conservative fiscal management, we’ve been able to keep the proposed increase to a moderate level, and avoid the more significant increases being proposed by some cities.

If the proposed rates are approved by the City Council at the public hearing on January 9, the rate increase would be effective the following day, January 10, 2012. Notices of the proposed increase have been sent to all garbage/recycling service customers in Redwood City. Customers have the opportunity to protest the proposed rate increase in advance of the public hearing by writing to the City. Details of the protest procedure were included in the mailing, and are also available online, along with more information on the proposed rates, at

Each year an analysis is done of the expenses and revenues from the prior year, along with projected expenses and revenues for the following year. A recommendation is made by the SBWMA concerning the following year’s rates, which is then considered by the City Council. The proposed 2012 rate increase is based on a financial evaluation of 2011 actual operating costs and revenues, and projected operating costs and revenues for 2012. Based on that analysis, the proposed 7.81% rate increase is comprised of these elements:

  • 2.9% to cover cost increases that occurred in 2011
  • 2.3% to cover anticipated cost increases for 2012
  • 0.61% to cover the proposed Household Hazardous Waste Collection service
  • 2.0% to cover anticipated revenue shortfall in 2012 due to cart-size reductions (customers choosing to move to a smaller cart, at a lower cost)

In the interest of keeping community members fully informed, it’s important to note that in spring of 2012 the City will need to propose increases in water and sewer rates, due to continually escalating costs in those services. The City understands that these increases are a challenge for many residents, and continues to work to keep necessary increases at a moderate level.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s newsletters or other documents by visiting


Mike Gibbons
Public Works Services


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